Friday, August 12, 2005

Random musings

One thing I did find out when I saw the nurse on Tuesday was my e2 levels. 106 on day 7, 271 on day 10, 348 on day 11 (that's when they decided to drop the meds) and then 52 on day 13. I really don't understand why they decided to drop based on the 348. That doesn't seem high to me at all! I have an appointment with MY doc on 8/25, two days after CB should be in town, and I will definitely be asking her these questions before we start the next (and final IUI) cycle.

I have a wicked bad case of hamster head (yes, I did grow up in Mass.) I figured since I felt pretty much the same symptoms after both my previous IUIs (sore boobs, frequent pees, constipation), and I wasn't pg, that they were due to the hcg shot. So I was fully prepared to feel the same things this time, and to not even imagine I might be pg based on those unless they lasted longer than 12dpi.

Well, wouldn't you know, this time I feel nothing. NONE of those. So obviously it wasn't the hcg shot. Does that mean that both of the previous IUIs we did manage to conceive an embryo, but it just didn't implant? (Does that make me a murderer in the eyes of the Bush anti-abortionites? And if not, why is using an embryo for stem cell research murder?) What does THAT mean for the success of a possible future IVF? I supposed with our poor morphology (<4% normal), it could just be abnormalities that don't allow the embryo to live and that with IVF we could pick a good embryo that would manage to implant. Or not.

If you've had an hcg shot, have you felt pg symptoms?

I've also been reading The Beauty Myth, on the recommendation of a friend. I've only read a couple of chapters, and it's already making me think twice about people I see on TV etc. It's so ingrained that women have to be beautiful and attractive to look at in order to make what they say worthwhile, where with men looks really don't matter. There are some really ugly men out there who are high up in corporations, in the media, in sports - we totally take them seriously. Yet when there's a less than attractive woman, that's the first thing that we pay attention to. Not what she has to say, whether she's making a good point - it's all about 'wow, that's a hideous outfit' or 'my god, she's way too thin', 'would you look at the honker on her!', or, 'man, what did she do to her hair?'. I just think about how many times I've said that or thought that about a female, compared to how often the same thoughts have crossed my mind about a male, and it really makes me sick. It's so insidious and pervasive.

I skipped a few chapters and read the one entitled 'Hunger'. It talks about how a large percentage of women in our society basically live their lives in a state of semi-starvation. It mentions 1600 calories as a subsistence diet in poor countries where people can't afford more. Yet so many of the diet programs ask us to live on much less than that. When I lost weight last year I was eating 1500 calories a day, as well as 5-600 cal worth of exercise. No wonder I dropped 12 pounds in two weeks! I was totally starving myself. The book also talks about studies that have shown that that kind of semi-starvation can absolutely affect cognitive abilities. In other words, we're keeping ourselves down by starving our bodies and brains, to reach some 'ideal' weight. That's frightening. Yet it's also amazingly difficult to let go of the desire to attain that ideal.

And then I think about having a daughter, and how on earth to avoid putting those pressures on her?


nada said...

Hey girl... I symphathize with you about not being able to get pregnant... but I just think 11 months is really not that long considering that you just came off the pill. It's not at *ALL* unusual for some women to not get their cycles completely back to normal for up to one year. And that's how it was for me as well... in fact after I quit BCPs, I didn't have any period at all for 1 year after I quit. Now my cycles are slowly starting to become normal again. I would never never take BCPs (AGAIN)and I tell all my female friends to not take take them. I know, I know, they're great for preventing pregnancy but they really do screw up your hormones. Women's bodies are just not meant to be barraged with fake hormones. I dunno why women just freak out after they quit BCPs when they can't get pregnant right away. I mean - duh! Your body has to totally re-adjust not getting that constant supply of fake hormones. Please don't take fertility shots....that's only going to make your hormonal situation worse in the long run. Go to a chinese herbalist, they've got all the good shit to get your body and reproductive system back in perfect working order in as little as 2-3 months. I went to an acupucturist in London and she was great... she got me on some herbs and I saw a difference as soon as I started taking them. And it's fairly cheap too --- a TON less than going through all that Reproductive Endocrinologist stuff and obviously a ton less invasive and less long-term side-effects.

Laurie said...

I had "symptoms" from my hcg shot with the first IVF cycle, then not with the second, but with the third (and successful) one, I had symptoms, then they went away, and came back shortly before the beta. By symptoms, for me, I'm mostly talking about sore bbs, because I barely even had any symptoms actually being pg. (No morning sickness or anything, just fatigue, but that didn't start till a couple weeks after the positive beta.) I think it depends on how sensitive you are to the hormones in general. I never really had any reactions to the clomid, progesterone, gonal-f, etc. All I had was hot flashes from lupron. I still have my fingers crossed for you!

Emma B. said...

Nada, I'm sure you mean well, but your advice basically boils down to "just relax", and really, it's not helpful. A healthy hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian axis shouldn't have to do a great deal of adjustment to begin cycling normally after BCP. While it's true that synthetic hormones are not entirely the same as the naturally produced versions, I think it's a real stretch -- and totally unsupported by any actual scientific evidence -- to say that they're so different that they can clobber your system for months afterwards. Or maybe you'd care to explain the exact details of the mechanism by which long-term BCP usage causes lasting suppression of the HPO axis?

If you've read Nico's history, you'll know that she is dealing with a situation that's highly unlikely to be resolved with patience or herbs, and that she has the scientific background to make an informed choice about using gonadotropins. Even if you disagree with that, well, perhaps it's not the most tactful thing in the world to say so in the comments to a post where the poster is concerned that *even gonadotropins* have failed to work.

Em said...

Nico, I hope this is it for you. I know my words aren't gonna do anything but I have grown very fond of you over the months that I have been blogging. I feel like my IF sisters are a family I have never met. I can't comment on the IUI stuff as I haven't tried that yet. My hubby's morphology is not great though.

reprogirl said...

Hey Nico,

I just want to tell you that I think the "symptom" thing in the 2 week wait is pretty much random and doesn't mean anything. Of course it's impossible not to obsess about it, but I don't think your symptoms in previous cycles indicate anything about whether your eggs fertilized or not, and I don't think your lack of symptoms this time around means anything either. Every time I've looked at anything by a doctor or scientist on this they say it's not possible for hormones to cause symptoms in your body until there's enough of them to show up on a test. Of course it took being clobbered over the head a couple of times with completely meaningless "symptoms" to believe that. But now I finally grasp that yes, it is true.

So, you know, this could be the one. Symptoms or no.

k #2 said...

1. Thank you for your really helped me get through today.

2. Yes, I have felt pg symptoms from Hcg shots...everytime with my BFNs! It has to do with hormones -- particularly estrogen causing those symptoms. I was on injections and also had mild OHSS which can give those symptoms. I wouldn't worry too much either way!

3. I completely agree with the harsh judgements made on women and not men. I must read that book. I worry about what body image and self esteem issues I may pass on to my daughter, too (at least on days when I am hopeful that this might work someday).